Jury Awards Monsanto $1 Billion

August 2, 2012 10:20 AM

A federal court handed down a $1 billion decision that has had two industry giants at war. Ag staple Monsanto (MON) had accused a division of competitor DuPont (DD) of patent infringement over Monsanto's Roundup Ready seed. Roundup Ready seed is genetically resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. The federal jury heard arguments that DuPont had improperly based development of their own glyphosate resistant seed on Monsanto's product.

DuPont countered that Monsanto's patent was obtained fraudulently by misleading government officials and was, therefore, invalid. DuPont then went on to file antitrust charges against Monsanto in a separate case concerning the patent. A trial has been set for September 2013 to address Dupont's accusations.

The jury took less than one hour to reach its verdict which awarded Monsanto $1 billion and company shares shot up two full points before ending the day up. Dupont has filed an appeal on the basis that the product development in question was abandoned before making it to retail shelves, and does not expect the ruling to stick or to affect DuPont's earnings. DuPont stock dipped slightly at the news on Wednesday.

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